Cayuse <=> "horses" in Spanish?

David Robertson ddr11 at COLUMBIA.EDU
Thu Feb 3 16:44:32 UTC 2005

Hi, sorry to be including so much previously posted material below, but
it's for your handy reference.

Kuipers' Salish etymological dictionary reconstructs *q'@yi7 at k 'an
ungulate', based on forms all over modern Salish meaning 'elk / moose /
reindeer / animal / fawn / colt'.

Thatlast meaning occurs only in the Interior Salish languages, inerestingly.

Kuipers compares this root to "CJ q'ayik [final stress] 'colt'".  Henry, is
that from your ICSNL 28 paper, which K. uses freely here?  I haven't seen

Could the above just be one of the many animal words that are shared among
language families in our region?

More to the point of our "Cayuse" discussion, in K.'s Proto-Interior Salish
root list he reconstructs *q'ay'-w's(-qn) 'two-point buck ("marks on top
(of head))"'.  Of this form, Columbian & Okanagan show modern reflexes that
resemble the word "Cayuse".  The root here means 'to make marks, write,
draw' as I think Sally mentioned.



On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 21:11:19 -0800, hzenk at PDX.EDU wrote:

>>    The Interior Salishan word appears in derivatives
>> meaning spotted hoofed animals -- Montana Salish
>> q'ayic `elk calf (with spots)', etc.
>>    Chinook Jargon has a word lik'ay `piebald, spotted
>> fawn', which looks a lot like a version of (Interior)
>> Salish q'ey with the French article glommed onto it at
>> the beginning.
>I knew this rang some kind of a bell.  In Gatschet's 1877 Tualatin Kalapuya
>field notebooks there is a word given:  atEkayi, atkai 'colt'.  Leo J.
>Frachtenberg took Gatschet's original notebooks to Yakama Res with him in
>where he went over them with Louis Kenoyer, presumed last speaker of
>Beside the foregoing two forms he wrote the re-elicited forms [a tqaii],
>[tq!aii], respectively (ii = "i" with a bar over it; a- is a nominal prefix
>which Frachtenberg writes as though it were a separate element, or just
>as in the second form).  These are given as Tualatin, and there is a t-
>in many Kalapuyan names of flora and fauna.  So the q'a(y)i part could
well be
>a borrowing--in fact, most probably is since q' is unusual in Tualatin
>in borrowings.  For what it's worth!
>Also for what it's worth, I have a note giving Bruce Rigsby as authority
>Sahaptin q'ayik 'elk colt', 'horse colt'.  Henry
>   What's most interesting to me here is that Montana
>> Salish (and possibly this is found in some other Int. Sal.
>> languages too) has a word q'ay'e(lxw) `pinto' -- the
>> suffix -elxw means `skin, hide'.  The stress is on the e,
>> and in Montana Salish this word is usually truncated after
>> the stressed vowel, putting the pronunciation very
>> close to French caille'.
>>    I don't have a form for `spotted face' in my
>> files, but if it exists, it would be q'ay'us, again
>> with stress on the second vowel.  (And the y might
>> or might not be glottalized.)  The suffix -us
>> means (among other things) `face'.
>>    So you see why I keep wondering if this root
>> for `spotted' has anything to do with the etymology
>> of cayuse, either as the sole source or as one of
>> the sources; the French words would, I'd think, also
>> play a role.  Multiple sources are common in
>> etymologies, especially in contact situations, so
>> mushing together (to use a technical term!) a Salish
>> root and a French root wouldn't be peculiar, given
>> their phonetic similarity and their semantic overlap.
>> It also wouldn't be weird for a Spanish-origin word
>> to play a role but not the only role in the development
>> of such a word.  Many generic words for `horse' in the
>> Northwest are derived from words for `elk', so the
>> extension of a word that means`spotted elk calf/fawn'
>> in some of its derivatives would be unsurprising.
>>    Of course, maybe pintos weren't prominent in
>> the horse herds of the era, and maybe spotted horse
>> faces weren't more common than all-over spotted
>> horses.  My idea is a non-starter if spots on horses
>> weren't common in the 19th (or possibly late 18th?)
>> century.  Does anyone know?  *Can* one know?
>>    -- Sally
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to the sender of a message, click 'REPLY'.  Hayu masi!

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